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Key to the City

A Textile Lover’s Guide to Oaxaca, Mexico

Key to the City BY aleksa brown 03/14/2018

 

You know how every now and then a locale seems to magically become the agreed-on destination for all the cool, creative people you know? Well, right now Oaxaca seems to be peaking, thanks to its majestic natural landscape and deep artisanal traditions in clay, weaving, and cooking. And for NYC-based textile artist Kiva Motnyk of Thompson Street Studio (i.e., one such cool, creative person), it’s also a place to connect with craftspeople. “I go to Mexico about once a year, and I recently I went to Oaxaca to gather inspiration and see how the traditional textiles were made,” she says. “It was incredible—the weaving artisans really integrate their work life with their home life, which is very much how I work when I’m in my studio upstate.” Below, see what she saw in this stunner of a city.


Stay


CASA OAXACA

“This beautiful colonial manor-turned-modern-hotel has carefully curated decor, an intimate vibe, and a restaurant that’s not to be missed.”


HOTEL QUINTA REAL OAXACA

“Located in the city center, this hotel is built in a beautiful converted convent. I love relaxing by the pool, taking in the preserved details of the building, and having breakfast by the gardens.”

 

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Landscape Quilted Coaster Set
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Do Things


HIERVE EL AGUA

“For a day of resting by the beautiful views of Oaxaca’s countryside, I love Hierve el Agua. A serene and photogenic spot on top of incredible natural rock formations, it has hardened mineral pools that resemble waterfalls.”


MUSEO TEXTIL DE OAXACA

“To get a glimpse of Oaxaca's beautiful indigenous textile traditions, I recommend this small museum in a beautiful restored colonial mansion. They have special exhibitions, workshops, and a wonderful store full of artisan-made textiles and ceramics.”

 

 

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Moon Circle Quilt
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TEOTITLAN DEL VALLE

“Head to this small village—about 15 miles east of the city center—for family-owned workshops specializing in hand-woven rugs and other textiles. Many are made using naturally dyed wool from local sheep.”


SANTO TOMAS JALIEZA

“Home to artisans specializing in backstrap weaving, this small village is about 15 miles south of the city center but is totally worth the trek. Here you’ll find belts, woven straps, and table runners featuring small, intricate patterns.”

 

Eat


MERCADO DE TLACOLULA

“I love heading to this Sunday market for artisan-made baskets, textiles, wood carvings and ceramics—and the food stalls are amazing. Don’t miss trying the famous mole sauce while you’re there!”

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